From the Desk of Cervid Program Supervisor Jason Isabelle

“Deer populations in much of southern Missouri have been increasing slowly over time and deer numbers in much of central and northern Missouri have rebounded from the severe hemorrhagic disease outbreak in 2012 that caused a significant decline in deer numbers in many counties,” said MDC Cervid Program Supervisor Jason Isabelle.

Isabelle added that deer harvests in the state have also been on an increasing trend since 2013 and MDC expects this trend to continue this year.

“Increased hunter participation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic is also likely to contribute to a higher deer harvest this fall,” Isabelle said. “We saw a significant increase in the number of hunters that pursued turkeys this past spring. If we see a similar increase in hunter participation this fall, it could lead to one of our highest deer harvests in many years.”

He added that MDC has steadily increased antlerless deer harvest opportunities in many counties over the last several years in response to increasing deer numbers.

Archery deer hunting opened Sept. 15 and runs through Nov. 13. Archery season then reopens Nov. 25 through Jan. 15, 2021. The November portion of firearms deer season starts Nov. 14 and runs through Nov. 24. The alternative methods portion runs Dec. 26 through Jan. 5, 2021. A firearms antlerless portion runs Dec. 4 – 6. Youth firearms portions run Oct. 31 to Nov. 1 and again Nov. 27 -29.